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AGRIBUSINESS: Italian Cheese Surpasses American Cheese Availability

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More Americans this 4th of July might be topping their hamburgers with slices of Italian cheese.

Over the last four decades, USDA's Economic Research Service has found increasing consumption of Mozzarella, Parmesan, and Provolone cheese in the U.S.

In 2012, availability of cheese was 33 and a half pounds per person, nearly three times as much as in 1970. Availability of Italian cheeses, at just under 15 pounds per person, surpassed the availability of American cheese, around 13 pounds per person.

Cheese consumption is higher in part due to inclusion in prepared foods, like frozen pizza, and higher demand caused by the popularity of cheese-rich Italian and Mexican cuisine.